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Deportes extremos
BASE Jumping
Posted: 08/21/06 Base jump - International
 
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BASE jumping is the sport of using a parachute to jump from fixed objects. "BASE" is an acronym that stands for the four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump:

  • Building
  • Antenna (an uninhabited tower such as an aerial mast)
  • Span (a bridge, arch or dome)
  • Earth (a cliff or other natural formation)

The acronym "BASE" was coined by film-maker Carl Boenish, who in 1978 filmed the first jumps from El Capitan to be made using ram-air parachutes and the freefall tracking technique, which effectively defined modern BASE jumping. BASE jumping is significantly more dangerous than similar sports such as skydiving from aircrafts, and is currently regarded as a fringe extreme sport.

History

There are isolated examples of BASE jumps dating from the early 1900s.

  • In 1912 Frederick Law jumped from the Statue of Liberty
  • In 1913 Štefan Banič jumped from a building in order to demonstrate his new parachute to the U. S. Patent Office and military
  • Michael Pelkey and Brian Schubert jumped from the cliff "El Capitan" in Yosemite Valley in 1966;
  • In 1976 Rick Sylvester jumped from Canada's Mount Asgard, for the opening sequence of the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, giving the wider world its first look at BASE jumping;
  • On March 9th 2004 Alan Morgan jumped from the Empire State Building
  • On February 13 2005 Eric Mathis jumped from the Sears Tower

However, these and other sporadic incidents were one-time experiments, not the systematic pursuit of a new form of parachuting. These jumps were repeated, not as a publicity exercise or as a movie stunt, but as a true recreational activity. It was this which popularised BASE jumping more widely among parachutists. Boenish continued to publish films and informational magazines on BASE jumping until his 1984 death on a cliff jump in Norway. By this time, the concept had spread among skydivers worldwide, with hundreds of participants making fixed-object jumps.

 
   
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